The total value of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the Middle East and Africa region dropped by 9.4 per cent in 2014 to reach $57.9 billion, according to the latest report from Mergermarket.
This compares with a deal value of $63.9 billion in 2013.
Despite an overall decline, the fourth quarter saw growth in total M&A transactions, with deal value rising by 158.6 per cent to reach $22.5 billion from $8.7 billion in Q3 2014.
Transactions in Q4 also accounted for 38.9 per cent of deals recorded in 2014, according to the report. The last quarter of 2014 saw a dash for larger deals with four transactions, each valued in excess of $2 billion.
Mergermarket noted that private equity activity was a key deal driver in 2014, accounting for 10.5 per cent of total M&A, up from just 4.2 per cent in 2013.The value of buyouts in the region also more than doubled from $2.7 billion in 2013 to $ 6.1 billion in 2014.
In terms of deals, the telecommunications, media and technology (TMT) sector witnessed the most activity, recording around 74 transactions in 2014 with a total value of $12.3 billion.
The region’s technology sector also registered steady growth in M&A deals, with 44 transactions worth $3.8 billion in 2014.
Total inbound activity declined last year compared to the previous four years, with deals valued at $14.6 billion, down 58.9 per cent from 2013, the report said.
Meanwhile, outbound activity in 2014 rose by 73.5 per cent in total value to $26.2 billion from $15.1 billion in 2013.
M&A deals across the region have been rebounding as the global economy recovers from the financial lows of 2009.
In the MEA region, Mergermarket forecasts that the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are set to see the most deal activity in 2015. Experts say that increased liquidity available to undertake deals will be a major factor in boosting M&As this year.